Mental Health

Rest is the New Busy

From an early age, we are indoctrinated to believe that laziness is a bad thing. We must not be lazy. Carpe diem, right? Seize the day! I am sure sloth didn’t get onto the seven deadly sin list for nothing (unless they just really hated sloths). You can rest when you’re dead, right?

We force ourselves head first into the go-go-go of life. Have you ever seen a time-lapse of a busy road? All the cars zip past in a blur of colour. That’s how a busy life seems. We rush from our homes to our jobs, our jobs to school, school to our social life (remember being sociable?!) and so on. Amongst all that commotion, we are also expected to: get 8 hours of sleep, go to the gym, write a blog, look sharp and eat a healthy diet.

I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a lot.

Sloth is a Sin

We are burdened with other people’s busy expectations. Do you find yourself feeling guilty for sleeping in on your day off? Or scolded for reading instead of cleaning?

It turns out that a lot of our self-judgement is actually our minds taking in negative expectations from others and thinking that we need to conform. This is a set-up. Wander down this road and you will be miserable. Trek through this pass for years and you will be crushed.

For a long time, I chastised myself for being lazy. Even the word “lazy” would bring negative connotations to my mind, as this is what I had been told I was. I was “lazy”. If I wanted to chill after a day at school instead of riding my bike through the park like a cool kid, then I was being “lazy”. If I didn’t eat, sleep, work, repeat then I was “lazy”.

People Need Rest

The thing is, we need to be lazy sometimes. Go back to my metaphor about the cars, and then see if you think that is healthy. Imagine working everyday without rest. I bet some of you are thinking that is your life right now. All work, family, school and little of you in the equation. Now, imagine a traffic light added to that busy road. The light is red, and the flow of traffic stops. For a few minutes, the world is still. How does that make you feel? Perhaps you have closed your eyes and taken a deep breath at the though. Or maybe, you’re getting a little anxious.

I think as a society we have misconstrued the word “lazy” with “rest”. We need rest, and it is so easy to believe we are being lazy when all we need is a moment of peace. The red light isn’t our enemy, it is constantly living by the green light.

When I look back to how I was during my first stint of self-isolation, I wrote about how I used my time to read, crochet and actually more sociable (check out: What I Learned in Self-Isolation for more). I am not craving that time back, I don’t think isolation is the key here. Simply, I want balance and the self-acceptance to take time for myself.

This is something I am working on…later 😉

Stay safe,

J x

Don’t suffer alone. If you are feeling stressed, overwhelmed or anxious, please reach out and get the support you deserve. Head to my ‘Help‘ page for links and telephone numbers from organisations that can help. If you are in the UK, head to the NHS’ mental health page for support.

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